National New Home Starts Down, But Not in Houston

In October, construction of new home starts in the US dropped .7%, but an increase in permit applications is up, so it may just be a blip on the radar.

According to an early October report from the Greater Houston Builders Association, in the 12 months ending in Q2, 43,000 news homes were built, inching close to a record of 50,000 set in Q2 2007, so that trend doesn’t seem to be impacting our area. Housing starts in Texas have declined for the past three months, according to Zonda, a data analysis company that follows trends in real estate, but that is mostly from the Dallas Fort Worth area.

Inventory is the buzzword of Houston, and even as we’ve had supply chain disruptions and a period of record lumber prices, houses get snapped up as soon as they hit the market.

Cathy Baker with Baker Mortgage sums it up. “There are only two places in this country that people want to live right now – Texas and Florida.”

And we are still seeing the increase in population indicating builders have no reason to hit the brakes now.

“Some of these builders are asking for things like a 20% non-refundable deposit, which they never did before,” says Baker of the buyer-market home builders are savoring.

Even with inflationary pressures, people are still buying. Zonda anticipates Houston will end the year at 41,500 starts, a tad below the current level, citing market pressures beyond builders’ and buyers’ control.

photo: Getty Images

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